Writing for online video vs writing for :30 TV

Having done a lot of online video and a ton of :30 TV I am, i think, finally in a position to bore you all to death on the subject.

:30 is no time at all. It’s the blink of an eye.

An online video can be as long as you like.

That’s the biggest difference. You actually have time to relax and tell your story.

So all you need is a story worth telling. So go find one.

That’s very liberating.

But it means your time limits and discipline must be self imposed. Your video still has to race along, desperate not to lose your viewer’s attention. Just like on TV. The uber lesson that nobody gives a shit still applies if you seriously want people to watch your video, if you want to earn your own unpaid audience.

The biggest difference, creatively, is that your ideas have to be bigger.

Bigger in this sense. At least this is the filter i put on my ideas.

Could you squeeze a half hour TV show out the idea?

If not, then you probably just have a TV commercial on your hands.

4 responses to “Writing for online video vs writing for :30 TV

  1. i was hoping you’d teach us how to write the perfect version of both, dammit. not too many leaders take the time to do so anymore.

  2. I fell asleep just after “Having done a lot…”
    just kidding :-)

    one big lesson in my case (but I haven’t done as much as you, far from it) is also that you might have a slightly bigger budget (no TV buying) but this shouldn’t fool you. internet is even more about idea than it is about production.
    I’d say classical TV is more caressing, while internet is plain sailor-like slapping.

  3. yes riki, that about nails it. with TV you have the awesome of advantage of starting with at least SOME of the viewer’s attention. Online is more, as you say, slapping.

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